Salmon and trout have a hard time hiding from Big Game Fishing Charters' 22-foot boat, even if they put on their best fake moustaches. In addition to rods and bait, the vessel brings along GPS systems and tracking gear from companies such as Fish Hawk. However, the most sophisticated fish finder stands at the boat's controls: expert angler Adrian Chapman. A member of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, Mr. Chapman has helped countless passengers pull fish from Lake Ontario since he started his company in 1999. He supplies everything needed for successful charters, including bait, equipment, and a second pair of hands to snap photographs once passengers reel in a prized catch.
On six wind-swept acres of sprawling green grass and leafy trees, two half-acre ponds shimmer and occasionally ripple as rainbow trout pierce the surface in search of tiny winged dinners. The scenery is pleasant, but the trout are the stars of the show at Burd’s Family Fishing resort where anglers of all kinds cast lines into well-stocked ponds in hopes of big catches. The staff provides all equipment including a rod and bait, allowing new fisherman to try out the sport without investing in expensive gear and a “Gone Fishing” garage door cover. They also clean the incandescent fish for free and bag them on ice for easy transport. Rod-reelers need only pay admission and a fee per hooked trout. Visitors can also take a respite from angling to picnic among the pastoral landscape and tranquil ponds by bringing their own lunch.
Nomad Adventures folds fishing and paddling into one well-rounded experience. Established in 2007, the company specializes in guided fishing trips into Lake Huron, Lake Ontario, and other local waterways, including the Niagara. The main reason Nomad can cover so many different waterways: its use of kayaks, which are able to squeeze into tight places much easier than boats. In the spring, the company's guides lead anglers onto the Great Lakes aboard these kayaks to track down brown trout, salmon, steelhead, and more; starting in July, they chase after trophy smallmouth bass. But trips aren't always in pursuit of fish. Nomad Adventures also offers paddling excursions, which explore the shorelines and offer watery views of the sunset.
Spanning a majestic 760 acres of waterfront wilderness, Deerhurst Resort entertains visitors with a dazzling array of amenities and activities just two hours north of Toronto. Guests relax in homey hotel rooms with feather duvets and pillows, with the main building a 10-minute walk from the lake. By the water, visitors can lounge on the beach, compete in volleyball matches, and learn to waterski, kayak, or canoe. Fishing boat rentals allow fishermen to venture to the center of the lake, casting lines in hopes of snagging sizeable northern pike and fabled lake trout made entirely of gold. Between May and October, golf enthusiasts rove the greens on two 18-hole courses, leisurely competing with friends or taking pointers from the golf academy's instructor, Dave Castellan. The warm weather months allow swimmers to frolic in three outdoor pools and tennis players to hit outdoor courts, including three lit courts so players can photosynthesize at all hours. Deerhurst also offers scenic pony rides for children and mountain bike rentals for cyclists looking to explore the surrounding countryside. Indoors, visitors can rev up their adrenaline on the rock-climbing wall or sink into a blissful trance with massages and pedicures at Shizen Spa. Because of a draconian government mandate demanding that people must eat food or perish, Deerhurst's chef Rory Golden sees that the resort's five restaurants offer a diverse selection of dishes for all palates. The staff demonstrates their commitment to creating seasonal fare with locally sourced ingredients by harvesting their own herbs, honey, maple syrup, and shiitake mushrooms on the premises.
Canadian Trophy Fishing Adventures fulfills anglers' dreams of reeling in thrashing fish worthy of bragging about during a job interview. Captains Aaron and Leo and their guides welcome groups of all experience levels aboard well-appointed vessels to cast lines for chinook (king) salmon, rainbow trout, walleye, and other species. Destinations shift seasonally to follow fish populations: groups venture to Lake Simcoe's ice-fishing huts in the winter and to Bluffer's Park Marina in the summer.
Though the privately-owned Haliburton Forest began as a land-clearing logging operation in the mid-19th century, the forest is now praised for its sustainable logging practices. Haliburton Forest is one of the first in Canada to earn a "responsible forest" certification from the Forest Stewardship Council. Company foresters operate on a single-tree selection process, cutting down only mature or weak trees to ensure the long-term health of the forest. In addition, more than half of Haliburton's forest revenue comes from the forest's many recreational opportunities, including dog sledding, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, hiking and mountain biking.
Visitors can also tour the sawmill, explore the logging museum, or purchase a handmade item from the wood-working shop. At the Wolf Center, several wolves roam freely in a 15-acre enclosure. A large indoor observatory enables visitors to observe the wolf pack through one-way glass and to listen to them through special speakers. An informative exhibition area, movie theatre and gift shop provide lots of information about the life and history of wolves. Beyond the center, there are three wild wolf packs who call the forest home.